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Falklands War

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I have immensely enjoyed reading this high octane account of life as an operational Royal Navy Wasp and Lynx Pilot. This thoughtful and timely book will be read with interest by those wanting to understand the Falklands War and the legacies of Empire in Britain. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. A first rate account and a very welcome addition to the still relatively small body of literature about the 1982 conflict - especially when it comes to the background and beginning of the Argentine occupation. This was a war that had a beginning, a middle, and an end, and in which soldiers and people defended just causes.

Even without armour and all of the equipment they might have had, so long as the British government and people maintained the will to fight, Argentina could not win. Though perhaps the high point was quoting someone talking about the state of aircraft in-flight refueling by saying 'it was like shoving wet spaghetti up a wildcat's bum. It is Lord Ashcroft’s attempt to champion the outstanding bravery of our Armed Forces during an undeclared war that was fought and won over ten weeks in the most challenging conditions. This is the book the late Graham Greene managed to read in manuscript form on his way to Moscow to visit his old friend Kim Philby. This was written soon after the conflict itself, and contains many great sections of interviews with soldiers who fought on the remote and unlikely battlefield.In more recent years (and I’ve heard this said myself by Argentine veterans) it transpires that many of the interviews felt a bit restricted and forced and that there was a definite sense of ‘get it right’ from the Argentine military to their still-serving veterans who were not allowed much lateral space to vent their full thoughts. The author a noted military historian takes the reader throughout the conflict from start to finish. I was a serving RN Officer in April 1982 and was always surprised that the actions of the very brave Royal Marine detachment NP8901 did not have their story better told at the time.

Alan, one of our blind veterans and trustees, was just 17 when he went to face the Argentines with his fellow Royal Marines. From those who were murdered for their efforts to those who live to see the difference they made I found all the stories harrowing I won’t say I agreed with all the protesters in this book, but I totally respect believing in something and wanting to do something about it.It was one of my abiding impressions of the war that, despite all the political and diplomatic manoeuvrings going on, there was never any question of the ultimate aim not being achieved.

On 1 April 1982 Major Mike Norman, commander of Naval Party 8901, was looking forward to a peaceful year-long tour of duty on the Falkland Islands.Some British Army and Air Force officers were opposed to the operation because they thought it would fail. The captain, guessing his intentions, drolly asked: "Perhaps you would like me to sail up and down a bit? This text tells the story of the frigate Ardent, from Christmas 1981 in Amsterdam to her sinking in Falkland Sound - and beyond. A sound command structure was imposed upon a wide range of ships and men and San Carlos Water was chosen for the assault on the islands and subsequent inshore operations.

Other examples of similar books exist by such authors as Graham Bound as well as some excellent unpublished diaries which I have had access to (The Falklands War from the end of our street by his neighbour Neville K Bennett is an excellent example which mirrors Smith in so many ways) but none of which have achieved the same level of deserved notoriety of a conflict which, sadly, is most commonly associated with just two sides, omitting the people at the very heart of the conflict. While sovereignty over the islands had been disputed for centuries, Britain reasserted its right to rule in 1833. I commend the book to those interested in gaining a more complete understanding of the Falklands campaign and to those who wish to gain a better understanding of leadership and courage in war at the tactical level.Over time more information has come forward, even this book is an updated edition of an earlier book, but I think that it aged very well. As the book explains, the initial media information was unfairly negative and caused a good deal of distress to that 'band of brothers' who were totally prepared to die for their country - and genuinely thought they were about to. They took up defensive positions in and around Government House and on the approaches to Stanley to protect the Governor and delay the enemy’s advance. Britain and Argentina were going through opposite and equivalent processes in the conflict, he said, speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival: "Both countries tried to revive an old and outdated image of themselves. His account describes his experience from the moment the ship was hit until he was winched to safety.

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